How Long is the Road to Recovery After a Laminectomy?

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Philip Henkin Philip Henkin

A laminectomy is a type of back surgery that involves removing the lamina, a bony plate that covers and protects the spinal cord. Laminectomies are performed to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerves. They are also sometimes done to remove tumors or other growths from the spine.

If you are considering having a laminectomy, you probably have many questions about the procedure and the recovery process. Here’s what you need to know about how long it takes to recover from a laminectomy.

How long does it take to recover from a laminectomy?
Most people with a laminectomy experience a significant reduction in pain immediately after the surgery. However, it can take several weeks or even months for the incision to heal completely and for you to regain your full range of motion.

You will likely need help getting around and performing everyday activities during the first few days after your surgery. You will probably need to stay in the hospital for two to four days before being discharged home. Once you’re home, you’ll need to take it easy for at least six weeks while your incision heals. Gradually, you’ll be able to resume normal activities as your pain subsides and your strength and range of motion return.

What can I expect during recovery?
You will likely feel some pain and stiffness during the first few days after surgery. You may also have trouble moving your leg or foot because of weakness or numbness caused by nerve damage. Your doctor will prescribe medication to help control your pain.

You will also need to wear a brace or splint for four to six weeks after surgery to keep your spine from moving too much as it heals. You should avoid lifting anything heavier than 10 pounds during this time. You may also need physical therapy to help improve your range of motion and strength.

Recovery from a laminectomy can take several weeks or even months. During this time, you will likely experience some pain and stiffness and may have trouble moving your leg or foot due to nerve damage. Your doctor will prescribe medication to help control your pain, and you will also need to wear a brace or splint for four to six weeks after surgery. You should avoid lifting anything heavier than 10 pounds during this time, but gradually you will be able to resume normal activities as your pain subsides and your strength and range of motion return.